Is Vostok lake in steady state?

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Abstract:

Stable-isotope (D and 18O) data from the Vostok (East Antarctica) ice core are used to explore whether or not subglacial Vostok lake is in isotopic steady state. A simple box model shows that the lake is likely to be in steady state on time-scales of the order of 104–105 years (three to four residence times of the water in the lake), given our current knowledge of north–south and east–west gradients in the stable-isotopic composition of precipitation in the vicinity of Vostok station and Ridge B. However, the lake may not be in perfect steady state depending on the precise location of the melting area, which determines the source region of inflowing ice, and on the magnitude of the east–west gradient in isotopic compositions in the vicinity of Vostok station and Ridge B.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756404781813853

Publication date: June 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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